AUGUST 26, 2023

Watch: Stardom World

Undercard Thoughts

  • Keep Megan Bayne and Mei Seira together as long as possible. They’ve been the STARDOM highlight outside of the 5STAR Grand Prix.

Red Stars
Natsuko Tora (10) def. Tam Nakano (5)

The majority of the 5STAR Grand Prix to this point has been an absolute home run with countless matches entering the must-see conversation. But sometimes, it’s more important to play to a story rather than put on the best match. That’s what the match between Tam Nakano and Natsuko Tora felt like.

Throughout this tournament, Natsuko Tora has been built as the heel monster who is taking out the best. Heading into this match, her two biggest wins were over Syuri and Mayu Iwatani, racking those up and keeping her in the conversation but the matchup with Nakano looked to be the one that’d slow down the Oedo Tai leader.

Well, nothing is slowing down Tora.

No matter how it needs to get done, Tora is finding a way to win with as many mists and dirty tricks as possible. But not tricks that’d ruin a match but rather ones that former Oedo Tai leader Yu Ishino (fka Kagetsu) would use in his time in the company. It’s changed Tora’s overall delivery to a top level that feels… unstoppable. This wasn’t one of those top performances for Nakano either as it was very much an off night, so Tora winning made all the more sense.

For a match with the World of Stardom Championship, it was certainly nothing to write home about but got the job done in the story they were telling. They have something better down the line when Tora inevitably challenges for the gold. ***¼

Blue Stars
MIRAI (6) def. Giulia (5)

MIRAI is best when she’s an underdog. She was exactly that in this match and it benefited because of it.

Giulia’s return to STARDOM following her trip for Multiverse United 2 couldn’t have come in a better matchup. She’d take on the reigning Wonder of Stardom Champion in a meaningful match as the Blue Stars block continues to be anyone’s game at this stage. And she came back riding that high off the four-way win over Momo Kohgo, Deonna Purrazzo, and Gisele Shaw looking as confident as ever.

So how could MIRAI get the win? By simply surviving. The onslaught of offense that Giulia laid out on MIRAI included a devastating closed fist to the skull, a Northern Lights Suplex on the apron, and a swift knee to the face. But as we’ve seen with MIRAI, it just takes one moment to strike and have her moment. She found it.

When Giulia was going for the Glorious Driver before MIRAI managed to slip out and nail Giulia with a Lariat, pinning her in stunning fashion to get the win.

She made sure to keep going. That’s what makes MIRAI her best. It wasn’t the prettiest win but it’s one that’ll do. Another night of greatness by the Wonder of Stardom Champion who notched her second-straight singles win over Giulia. That’s big time. ****

Blue Stars
Maika (5) def. Utami Hayashishita (4)

Maika and Utami Hayashishita have a big match formula that they go to time and time again — it never fails.

It was much of the same here between the two rivals as they go in there, hit each other with bomb after bomb, and appreciate the battle they put on afterward.

What’s often so interesting about their relationship is that it’s not like Hayashishita often has the number of Maika as their rivalry is a 50-50 split at this stage — but Hayashishita is always the one winning the title matches which ultimately does matter most. These two have a unique chemistry of wanting to best each other through power, strength, and just being the beast of the night.

Maika was the beast of the night in their latest battle.

Any time that Maika can hit that Michinokui Driver II out of nowhere, it’s awesome. It’s awesome because it creates the idea that it can happen at any moment and she can close out on the win. She made sure to go to a second one here to make sure Hayashishita was down and out (smart move), but these two have so many future battles ahead that this was just another chapter in their long, winding story to the top of professional wrestling.

These two have one of the best STARDOM matches of all time somewhere in their future against one another so I look forward to the day that match arrives. I’ll take this until then though as they simply do not miss. ****

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